The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

Welcome to our Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Dr. David Suzuki School.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Polar Bear Inquiry

Jackson led the the Arctic!
After having had some conversation about where the birds and animals have gone,
and using words like migration and hibernation,
and adding some new books to the book shelves,
Jackson became VERY interested in bears.
Especially polar bears!
So begins the story of our polar bear inquiry.

The children in our classroom have been showing a growing interest in Polar Bears.
In the art centre we put out white, blue and black plasticine, polar bear figurines and a couple of polar bear books. 
The children went straight to work and this is what they are creating.

All the while, children chat and discover new things to know about polar bears. 
We learn together.
They look back at the books for more information and details to add to their sculptures. Each of the children were creating individual polar bear scenes.
Soon, other arctic animals were being created.
After all, polar bears need to eat and feed their cubs.
The children wondered how polar bears stay warm in the Arctic. We researched with the children and found out that the blubber on a polar bear is what keeps them so warm.
Is that how other Arctic animals stay warm?
We conducted a blubber experiment. 
We had the children stick their one hand in a bag filled with Crisco to act as the blubber and had the children stick their other hand in an empty bag then had them stick both hands in ice cold water at the same time. We had the children predict, observe and communicate to each other their observations/conclusions. 
The children started wondering what other animals may live in the Arctic. We made a trip to our library and selected some books about animals in the Arctic.
 We left the plasticine available to the children in the art studio. 
Independently, the children started to create their master pieces.
Polar bears have been joined by caribou, musk oxen, seals,
walruses, narwhals, whales, penguins...
and every day there are more.
The children were now creating so many different Arctic animals that
they decided to build an Arctic exhibit.
We used a stand up mirror and lay it across a table. The children began to press blue plasticine all over the mirror. They have begun to create the 
Arctic Ocean...icebergs and all!

The children barely sit through morning attendance, anxious to return to their Arctic expedition.
They gather materials around the room. Rocks are stacked for seals and walruses to set upon.
A tundra picture of dried grasses becomes a habitat for a fox family.
They want to do more. They want to know more.
As of right now this is what our Arctic exhibit looks like. Please stay tuned to updates of the exhibit because this is a work in progress. 
That's the thing about inquiries...
the children always lead the way!

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